Endometriosis awareness month is taking place this March in order to shine a light onto this devastating disease that affects 1 in 10 women.
This is a gynaecological problem cause’s tissue normally found in the womb to grow outside the uterus which can result in chronic pain.
Radka Ballantyne is the support group leader of the York endometriosis UK support group.
“It feels like somebody stabbed a knife in my tummy and was slowly twisting it” she told the Yorkie.
The group meets monthly to provide a safe space where women can talk openly about their endometriosis and share experiences including discovering ways to manage their pain.
Endometriosis can grow anywhere within the body but is most commonly found on abdominal areas. This disease can affect your overall quality of life. The disease is a very individual illness so not every person will experience the same symptoms.
Ranging from heavy periods, bowl problems and painful intercourse Endometriosis can affect the reproductive system, relationships and attendance at work.
The group sometimes hosts guest speakers such as nutritionists and events from the York park run or yoga, instilling a new quality of life which encourages people to not suffer alone.
Sadly, the disease has no cure and diagnosis on average can take around 7 and a half years. Treatments can include hormones, or surgery to remove the tissue. But once removed endometriosis will grow back.
Living with endometriosis can be extremely isolating and is still a taboo subject within society. The lack of awareness has impacted understanding and diagnosis of the disease. Radka expresses the important of support groups to raise awareness, offer guidance and help people recognise the symptoms.
The group aims to reflect that despite the difficulty’s caused by endometriosis they are not defined by this devastating disease.